Some births just stick with you as a doula. Last year on this date was no exception.
The week prior we had a whomper of a snow storm - 8-10 inches of snow fell. My client and her husband took beautiful pictures of her round belly outside on their deck with the snow covered hills and mountains as a backdrop. They joked about having this baby at home with no power and 8 inches of snow and hoped that wouldn't be the case!
The snow mostly melted over the week and schools were back in session. I hadn't heard anything from my clients so was going about my day as usual. My kids were up and ready for school - the last day before Christmas break. On the way I received a call from my client saying she thought labor was starting but nothing exciting was happening yet and I had time to drop the kids off and then head her way.
I got the kids dropped off and was headed home to change and get my stuff ready when I received a second call. She said things were picking up but she was doing okay. Her husband is a chef at a country club and he'd been called to come back home but wasn't there yet. I asked if anyone else was home with her as she was anticipating family for the holidays and she said no, just her daughter, who was 3. I told her I was going to change and come right to her so I could support her until her husband got there. I was about 1/2 way home when I received a third call.
The third call came from her husband. You KNOW when the husband or partner calls that shit has gotten real. He told me that she was contracting pretty quickly and he needed my support, N-O-W. Baby was coming and coming fast. I instructed him to get off the phone with me and call 911. The last thing I heard was my client in the background, "Kelly, I need you N-O-W..." with a low grunting tone in her voice. I knew she was pushing.
To this day I have no recollection as to where I turned my car around. I turned it around and raced to their house. A house I had never been to because they had moved in not long ago and we did our prenatal visit at my office since their house was still in disarray from the move. I found it based on the flashing lights of the ambulance.
I let myself in and immediately picked up their daughter who witnessed the whole thing - we had met a few times prior so I wasn't a complete stranger to her. Some of the paramedics were in the living room and I asked where mom was. She was in the bathroom catching her breath from the birth and waiting to deliver the placenta.
It was the craziest thing to see - her sitting on the toilet holding her newborn daughter, her older daughter vacillating between seeing what mom is doing and entertaining the paramedics. I went into work mode and got my client some warm wash clothes to clean up her legs, some hot tea and something to eat, and started tidying up the house.
Her husband, a chef, whipped her up a breakfast wrap and served it to her while she was on the toilet.
Once the placenta was delivered and it was clear that she was stable the paramedics left. The now family of four snuggled into bed for a bit to bond and feed the baby and catch their breath after the whirlwind of the morning.
I started a load of laundry, made sure their daughter was feeling supported, and helped get them all bundled in the car for a postpartum check, instead of a birth, at the WNC Birth Center.
When I teach second time parents a Refresher Class I always remind them 'different birth, different baby' and that second babies are generally more efficient birthers. You've got to have plan A, B, C, and maybe even D with a second baby! And sometimes that baby wants to just be born at home on the toilet into mamas arms!
Happy first birthday, Ceci. And happy birthing day, mama!